Salt is the beginning of something very special, and will eventually evolve into Foundation: the Agoga, a non-profit organization oriented towards teaching boys what old school manhood is all about. Currently, the project is merely conceptual, but in the future, it will be funded through charity in order to make curricula pertaining to classical manhood available for free to parents and teachers. Those materials will be made available here.
For now, however, we have Salt.
"But what the hell is Salt?"
In ancient Rome, salt was used to pay soldiers, and so salt has since become a metaphor for payment, hence the phrase "a man worth his salt." Thus, the Salt project represents a system of pedagogy intended to aid in the transition from boyhood to manhood- that is, it is intended to teach a boy how to become "a man worth his salt." This way of looking at the world is entirely lacking in our society today; indeed, most of modern society seems dead-set on condemning manhood in the main. In fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) has publicly denounced "traditional masculinity" as "toxic," as harmful and dangerous in and of itself:
Although it is no longer politically correct to speak an obvious truth, men and women are fundamentally different, and at every level of human development: the chromosomal, the genetic, the structural, the hormonal, the neurological, the psychological, the behavioral. There is no aspect of the human condition in which men and women are equal. None. Zero. Furthermore, these differences express themselves at both the personal level and the cultural level- that is, they scale in magnitude.
These differences persist across time and space, and are apparent in every culture ever tested. The social argument- that these differences are mere "social constructs," and have no reality in and of themselves- would perhaps hold water if cultures could be found that show the opposite trend, but such a culture has never yet been discovered. The list of sex-specific universals is enormous: Never in history have females formed the majority of any military; never in history have females formed the majority of weapon makers or metal workers of any kind; never in history have females formed the majority of workers of the most dangerous jobs. The list goes on and on. And controlling for socialization provides no help: Cultures high in gender equality oftentimes show even greater degrees of gender differentiation than cultures low in gender equality, almost as though the free pursuit of personal fulfillment creates a higher degree of inequality- and indeed, that seems to be the only answer.
So men and women are fundamentally different, at every level of human development, and in every culture ever studied, no matter where in time and space. Men and women, once more and for the last time, are different. This does not imply that the one is better than the other, or that the one is more necessary than the other. In fact, the very spirit of male-female relationships is one of partnership: Human sexuality is founded upon cooperation and complementarity rather than combativeness. This natural propensity for partnership benefits both sexes, though for the purpose of this discussion, we will focus on manhood.
What Is It?
Generally speaking, men are bigger, stronger, faster, more violent, less sympathetic, tactical, tribalistic, and prone to linearity and discrimination in thought process. These traits make sense from an evolutionary point of view: Males have been, are, and will always be the protectors of the tribe, and so masculine psychology only makes sense taken in this context; females, on the other hand, have been, are, and will always be the creators and caretakers of children, and so they display higher degrees of empathy, verbal fluency, and appreciation for verbal communication, which also makes sense taken in this context. All of these traits make sense from an evolutionary point of view.
Furthermore, men appreciate the traditionally "hard" virtues far more than women, and vice versa: Men appreciate "tactical" virtues- that is, virtues that are useful in battle, such as strength, wisdom, and fearlessness- while women appreciate "pathetic" virtues- that is, sympathetic virtues that bind individuals together, such as love, mercy, and compassion. This yin/yang polarization of human sexual psychology is deeply ingrained in the species, and cannot be argued away, no matter how subtle the academic sleight of hand. The pattern repeats over and over, in all times and in all places.
Men, therefore, are characterized by two qualities that generally set them apart from women: leadership and protection- that is, men enter into danger first (the real meaning of leadership), and establish borders and boundaries (both physical and philosophical) in order to protect the tribe. This is manhood in its most simplistic form: It is hardness of mind, and the willingness to make difficult decisions for the greater good. Paradoxically, this may sometimes look a lot like amorality, or even immorality. But there is sometimes reason in madness.
Walking that fine line is not easy, however. The entire purpose of society, after all, is to teach individuals to obey what is highest within themselves, in order to rise above those seeds of self-destruction that lie within each of us: hatred, greed, and delusion. This is even more critical in the case of boys, who- by virtue of the fact that they are bigger, stronger, faster, more violent, less sympathetic, tactical, tribalistic, and prone to linearity and discrimination in thought process- can wreak havoc on society if they are not taught how to master themselves. And so for the vast majority of human history, there has been a tradition of training boys- of teaching them what manhood really means- and this tradition has always been passed down from grandfather to father to son, or, alternately. When the natural father is absent, the tradition can even be passed down from teacher to student, or from mentor to mentee, as in the case of military cultures, but it is always passed down organically, from adult male to adolescent male, and never from adult female to adolescent male.
After all, the natural character of a woman is oriented towards softness rather than hardness, and so the quality of masculine psychology- and therefore, all the needs of male-oriented pedagogy- typically run contrary to female psychology. The willingness to draw hard lines, the willingness to demand heavy sacrifices- these cannot be communicated via womanhood, partially because most human beings do not learn so much through education as through emulation. So although a mother may try to give her son some idea of what manhood is, she can never be a man, and so her instruction will always be the instruction of an outsider. Thus, her teachings will always ring hollow.
So what happens when there is an explosion of single-motherhood, and boys are left to their own devices, without fathers to teach them the tradition? What happens when boys are left in a perpetual state of boyhood, and never learn what manhood really means? Predictably, the results are catastrophic.
Boys Will Be Boys
*** Coming soon!!! ***
Joshua van Asakinda +1-330-314-4170 Joshua.van.Asakinda@gmail.com
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